People have known about the Great Sand Dunes for at least 10,000
years. Whether or not they played on the dunes, like we do, is anybody's
guess, but archaeologists do know that some of the most ancient
North American people hunted large animals close to the dunes. A
variety of sizes of small projectile points gives a clue that more
recent people hunted smaller animals and water fowl. Judging from
the extensive litter of grinding stones, people for many hundreds
of years made flour from native seeds and nuts. Old miners' cabins
and homestead remnants tell stories of historically recent human
occupation. Do you have a sneaking suspicion that all of these people
at one time or another might have played on the dunes?
- Let's Be an Archaeologist - Students
will learn about the reasoning methods of archaeologists and gain
insight about a culture by making their own inferences about the
people who occupied an archaeology site.
- Our Common History - Students will
use chronological problem-solving and reading skills to understand
a summary Great Sand Dunes' human history.
- Everyone Has a Story: Conducting
an Oral History Interview - Students will work cooperatively
to decide on a topic and investigate it through oral history interviews.
Students will understand that everyone has a story.
- Then and Now - Students
will read a selection of oral histories and compare/contrast those
people's lives with their own experiences.
- Design a Trail - Student groups will
work cooperatively to produce an interpretive walking trail. Together
they will research a topic, choose a focus, write, illustrate
interpretive information, lay out a trail, organize information,
- Trail Skits - Students will learn
how to be prepared, respect the natural ecology, and be safe on
their trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.